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Govt verifies Nigeria’s assets, uncovers 45,000 ghost workers

• Raises N2.4 trillion last quarter 2012

A CLEAR picture of the assets of Nigeria all over the world may soon emerge as President Goodluck Jonathan Wednesday set up a special inter-ministerial committee to verify them.

The committee, announced by Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, at the end of the fifth meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) this year, is expected to go round the world and verify Nigeria’s assets, including those owned by the country’s missions abroad under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the major Federal Government operators in the maritime sector, the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Navy.

The committee is headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, with representatives of the Federal Ministries of Finance, Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) as members.

Other members include the representative of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) and the Special Adviser to the President on Performance Evaluation, Prof. Sylvester Monye.

Besides, in the last quarter of year 2012, that is between September and December, the government raised a total revenue of N2.413 trillion, which it also distributed amongst the three-tiers of government in the country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) disclosed this in its fourth quarter economic report released Wednesday.

The apex bank report is designed for the dissemination of financial and economic information on the Nigerian economy on current basis. The report analyses developments in the financial, fiscal, real and external sectors of the economy, as well as international economic issues of interest. The report is directed at a wide spectrum of readers, including economists and financial analysts in government and the private sector, as well as general readers.

Also, the FEC was told during its session that under the Federal Ministry of Finance Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), a total of 45,000 ghost-workers had been discovered during the implementation of the scheme in 251 Federal Government Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Altogether, a total of 153,019 workers were audited in the 215 MDAs as at January 2013.

Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama, told journalists at the end of the Council meeting that the IPPIS was introduced to enhance efficiency in personnel cost planning and budgeting. Under this policy, which was opposed by unions in the MDAs, personnel cost is based on actual verified number of staff and not estimates.

Ngama stated that a total of 321 MDAs were yet to be captured on the IPPIS scheme.

He added that the Federal Government had established the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as a unified structure of government bank account that gives a consolidated view of the cash position of the MDAs. Already, a total of 92 MDAs are currently on the TSA. By the end of next month, 97 MDAs based in Abuja will be added to the TSA scheme.

Giving an overview of the execution of the tasks assigned to the ministry, Ngama stated that the Federal Government was planning to increase its capital expenditure to 60 per cent while reducing recurrent expenditure to 40 per cent.

And just before the commencement of the Council meeting, President Jonathan announced a cash gift of N5 million to the Nigerian Football Supporters’ Club for their “unparalleled support” for the Super Eagles throughout the AFCON tournament.

The announcement followed the presentation of the cup to the Council Chambers, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan had on Tuesday night at the reception for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals rewarded the players and coaches with cash gifts, lands in Abuja and national honours.

The President announced a cash reward of N10 million for the Head Coach Stephen Keshi and N5 million to other coaches and players. The team’s technical officials are to receive N2 million cash each.

Also, while Coach Keshi was conferred with a national honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), his assistants – Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu – and team captain, Joseph Yobo, got the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR). The remaining players of the victorious team received the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) national honours.

The players and officials were decorated with the national honours by President Jonathan after the announcement.

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